Discover the new features in Ubuntu 10.04, the Lucid Lynx


Ubuntu 10.04 is just around the corner, and it's shaping up to be one of the most eagerly awaited (and controversial) releases in the distro's history. What new goodies are included? How does it tap into the ever-expanding world of social networking? And most importantly, can you move those window control buttons back to the right of the titlebar, as nature intended? Read on for the gory details...

Twice a year since 2004, we are consumed by Ubuntu fever. The initial symptoms of this affliction are defined by the question: "What will Ubuntu do next?" The press releases, announcements, mailing lists and blogs then take over until release day. With Ubuntu "Lucid Lynx" 10.04 set for release at the end of April, everyone's well in the throes of this hysteria, and we're here to fuel it further by sharing with you the seven things that you absolutely need to know about Ubuntu 10.04.

The third long term support release (LTS) to come from the Ubuntu camp, Lucid Lynx has many surprises in store for everyone, including its revamped looks and a new logo (see page 48 for more on the fallout that this update has produced). Then there are the exciting new features, including lightning fast boot-up times, and older features that have finally come to maturity in this release.

Ubuntu's mantra with the third LTS release is 'Light', which is also the name of its new theme. Lucid Lynx, the most lightweight Ubuntu release yet, also boasts less bloatware. The major casualty in this of course is Gimp, which although still a fixture on almost all the other major distributions has now been dropped so that you get a lean, light machine. So without further ado, we present the our pick of the features that have got us champing at the update bit.


Shiny! That's how we define Ubuntu's long hoped-for departure from the dusky brown, and it's a good look too. In the past few years, all manners of people, those who use Ubuntu and even those who don't, have expressed their views on the sometime dusty-sometime-dusky-always-brownish 'Human' theme. According to Mark Shuttleworth, we're now in store for five more years of releases with this new theme, which has been christened 'Light'.

The Me Menu text box is only available if you're logged into social networking accounts with Gwibber.

A livelier wallpaper, more colourful icons and a task bar with a reworked notification are only the tip of the cosmetic changes introduced in 10.04. You also get two new themes named Radiance and Ambiance. You can think of these two as comic book characters - the superhero and its arch enemy. Ambiance, the default theme with its darker shades (remember the black task bar) is evil and Radiance with feel-good yellow is the hero. Well, at least that's how we see it.

The biggest departure yet from traditional appearances is in the left-positioning of the window control buttons. With the close, minimise and maximise window buttons now on the left, the freed-up space on the right can possibly be utilised, in Shuttleworth's own words, for some innovative purposes that will probably be introduced with Ubuntu 10.10, due to ship in another six months.

As my good old English teacher used to say, changing your habits isn't easy. You remove 'h' and 'a bit' remains. You then remove 'a' and 'bit' remains. You then remove 'b' and 'it' still remains. Hopefully, you will acclimatise better to the change in position of the window controls.

With multiple streams served side-by-side, Gwibber makes it impossible to miss out on a conversation.

In case the changed position of the window controls hampers with peaceful, curse-free functioning of your machine, you can easily relocate them to the right-hand side end using gconf-editor. Press Alt+F2 and in the Run Application dialog box, type gconf-editor. Click on Apps > Metacity > General on the left sidebar and change the button_layout property from




Changing the position of the colon (:) from the end to the beginning of the line return the control to the right-hand side end of the title bar. Doing this however, breaks down the new default themes on Ubuntu Lucid, so if you do decide to change the positioning of the window controls, make sure you also switch to one of the older themes, such as Clearlooks.

One more significant change in appearance lies in the notification area on the task bar, where most items are now clubbed. You'll notice for instance, the volume control is clubbed with chat/email notification. This was done to save space on this valuable piece of screen real estate.

Step by step: Sync Firefox bookmarks with Ubuntu One

1. Install Firefox plugins: Once you've logged into Ubuntu One, click Applications > Preferences > Ubuntu One or use the Me Menu to launch the Ubuntu One preferences dialog box and click on the Services tab. Now click on the Install button.

2. Confirm installation: You'll then be asked to confirm that you wish to install the xul-ext-bindwood package. This extension syncs bookmarks to the local CouchDB installation and can later be synced with other CouchDB instances.

3. Restart Firefox: When you restart Firefox it will seem slow, as it's syncing the bookmarks to the local CouchDB instance. When you next connect from a different machine to Ubuntu One, your bookmarks will automatically be synced.

This is Firefox 3.6, showing the yellow task bars and title bars of the Radiance theme.

Social skills special

Ubuntu Lucid, with Gwibber and Me Menu, offers total desktop/social network integration. There are quite a few applications at play here, so let's go over each of them in some detail.

The default IM client on Lucid Lynx is called Empathy, and you still have to configure all your IM accounts, be they Yahoo or Google Talk, before proceeding any further. However, instead of launching Empathy from the Application > Internet menu, you can straight away create your chat accounts from the desktop itself using the Me Menu. Click on your username on the task bar at the top, then click on Chat Accounts. This launches Empathy's Messaging and VoIP Accounts dialog box. The new Ubuntu is all about saving time and effort!

Once you've set up all your chat accounts, it's time then to configure your social networking accounts, so launch Gwibber from the Application > Internet menu. Click on Edit > Accounts or press Shift+Ctrl+A or simply click on Broadcast Accounts under the Me Menu and fill in the account information for each of your social networking vices.

When it's done, Gwibber will pull the latest updates from all your configured accounts. If you have accounts on both Twitter and Identica, Gwibber provides separate entries for each of these in the left-hand sidebar, so your tweets and dents are never fighting for space. You can toggle the active accounts using the icons at the bottom of the Gwibber window. If you're logged into both Twitter and Identica but wish to only update Twitter using Me Menu, first toggle off Identica and then post your message using Me Menu.

Replying to messages is also very easy, as all you have to do is click on the reply icon on any message to automatically associate the message to the original poster.

What makes the Me Menu even more special is that it provides a text box that you can use to update all your configured social networking sites in one go. Not only does the message get relayed to Gwibber, from which it is posted to all your enabled accounts, such as Twitter and Identica, but it's also sent to Empathy, which sets the same message as your status across all enabled IM accounts, if they support custom status messages.

One awesome feature that has now been made integral to the installation itself if the ability to create encrypted home partitions.

Firefox conundrum

For most of Ubuntu 10.04's developmental release cycle, one of the biggest changes was the switch from Google to Yahoo as the default search engine. In early April, however, the decision was made to go back to Google just before the release of the second beta. Rick Spencer, engineering manager for Ubuntu's Desktop team, announced on the developers' mailing list the switch back to Google, citing users' familiarity for those upgrading from 9.10 to 10.04 as a factor. So, it was nothing to do with the outrage expressed by Linux users at having to use search engine with links to Microsoft then. Not at all...

Also, in case you're one of the few who haven't yet switched to Firefox 3.6, there are some more surprises in store for you. For starters, Firefox is configured to Always show the tab bar by default. Click Edit > Preferences > Tabs and unmark the Always show the tab bar check box to free up some space on your browser.

Second, the default behaviour is to open new tabs relative to the current, so don't look for new tabs at the end of the tabs list but instead right next to your current tab. And don't bother heading back to the Preferences dialog box to change this, since it can't be done from there. Instead, you need to open a new tab and type


and hit Enter. Type:


into the filter field, locate an entry that looks like this:


and double-click it so that under Value it now reads false instead of true. Once that little job is done you can enjoy the benefits of the latest version of Firefox without having to live with its most annoying new feature. Result!

To install apps you only need to click on the Install button and the Software Centre does everything by itself.

Ubuntu One

Although the Ubuntu One service has been on offer since Ubuntu 9.04, a more usable iteration is on offer with Lucid Lynx, and - like a lot of the new Web 2.0 stuff - it too is integrated into the Me Menu.

Ubuntu One is Canonical's ambitious storage service that enables users to store files online and sync them between different computers. You can register for a free 2GB account (or get 50GB for $10 a month) by heading over to

Once you've created an account you can log into it from the Me Menu or via System > Preferences > Ubuntu One. You then have to associate your machines with the newly created account. You should associate all the machines you wish to keep synced with your account.

In the browser interface of Ubuntu One, you can upload a file from under the Files tab. Ubuntu One can even be configured to synchronise Tomboy notes, Evolution contacts and Firefox bookmarks.

The performance boost

As part of its third long-term support release, Ubuntu has adopted a new watchword based on the idea of light. This is reflected not only in the new logo and desktop themes, but also in the changes made to the system to make it use system resources more quickly and efficiently.

As soon as you boot from the new Ubuntu 10.04 disk, the changes made to the interface, the logo and the awesome work done to speed up Ubuntu become apparent.

Sub-10-second boot and shutdown are now achieved on just about all machines, even those with only 512MB RAM.

Ubuntu Software Centre

The Software Centre, although not a new addition to Ubuntu, is now very well polished and ready for mass adoption. The tool makes it extremely easy to install applications and makes Synaptic look bloated in comparison.

The clearly defined application categories, and the elegant interface, make searching for software almost a non-issue, though not all applications are listed in the relevant categories. For example, you wouldn't find the Chromium browser (now part of Ubuntu's repositories) under the Web Browser heading, but instead as just another name under the vast Internet heading.

Step by step: Buying music from Ubuntu One music store

Rhythmbox music player now has support for Ubuntu One music store, which enables you to buy songs from within Rhythmbox itself. You can also purchase albums from the Jamendo and Magnatune stories, but they require you to go through an additional registration process.

When you first launch Rhythmbox and click on Ubuntu One under Stores on the left sidebar, you'll be told that MP3 plugins aren't installed. Click on the Install MP3 Plugins button and Rhythmbox will automatically download and install the Fluendo MP3 plugin for GStreamer. After the plugin is installed, you don't even have to restart Rhythmbox, you can begin using it straight away. Follow these steps to get your library growing...

1. The home page: The home pages lists a number of recommendations, and you can find albums using the Search box in the top-right corner or browse through the different genres such as Rock, Indie, Pop etc.

2. Try before you buy: Once you've found an album that interests you, you can listen to any of the songs on it by clicking the little Play button against each of the songs. If you to like any of the songs enough to buy it, click Download.

3. The basket: You can add more songs to your shopping basket by clicking the Add More button and continuing your search. Really, it's all a lot like Amazon. When you're ready to pay up, click on Checkout.

4. Select payment type: You now get to choose how you're going to pay. The options are PayPal or Visa/MasterCard or Maestro cards. Did we mention that the Ubuntu music store is DRM-free? Well it is.

5. Payment details: Fill in all the relevant information. The download begins soon as you make the payment and when it's completed the songs will be listed under the Purchased From Ubuntu One heading.

You should follow us on or Twitter

Your comments


"one of the most eagerly awaited (and controversial) releases in the distro's history"

How is a release "controversial"? Or does aubergine count as newsworthy these days?

10 seconds boot time?

I don't think it's possible without some tweaking. I have a Gateway EC1410u notebook, it has a 1.3 Celeron 2 GB Ram. It boots around 34 seconds. Maybe it's because the sluggish 5400 RPM HDD.

@Confusticated Penguin

I think controversy might come from all the profit making elements that are thrown out there: $10/month for storage, music store, at one point they made a deal to have yahoo as the default search engine (presumably for some sort of cash). etc. Ubuntu has never been so blatantly commercial. To my recollect, the commercial end used to be more about having companies pay for support . . . but I think Red Hat distros have a monopoly on that.

Firefox tab bar is a preference

I'm not sure the 'complaint' about the Firefox is relevant in this kind of a review. Its a personal preference and I kinda like it there.

@Confusticated Penguin

controversy mainly due to the left menu decision ....

Commercial Ubuntu

I for one am happy to see Ubuntu going more and more commercial. I'm not an Ubuntu user, but Linux definitely needs a mainstream flagship distro and, like it or not, commercial is mainstream. Ubuntu makes a fantastic desktop OS for people who don't want to tinker much (not to say it isn't possible to tinker, it is Linux afterall).

Ubuntu is doing far more than any other distro to pump up the number of Linux/FOSS users, and that's what we need to attract more developer attention.

This is actually the THIRD LTS release,

Dapper Drake was the first, Hardy Heron the second. How quickly they forget...

Commercial Stuff is Optional

If you don't like it , leave it alone.

I know I will, but I wont complain about it being available by choice.

We seem to be in the midst of a memory lapse

Let me see, here young folks. First there was the 6.06 LTS, then the 8.04(.1) LTS, and now we're coming up on 10.04 LTS. To my mind that makes it the third. All other points aside, when you get the first one wrong, in the title, it brings all the other info into question. No?


What does "the volume control is clubbed with chat/email notification" mean?

Why would you combine to unrelated functions???

20 years in business

I have had my fingers in HP/UX, Solaris, AIX, in RHEL, SLES, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Debian, Gentoo, and also Ubuntu. But how can I take a distribution serious, where all news only are so cursory, only talking about "appearance", "look and feel", "button placement", "wallpapers" and "colorful icons".
An article like this one should be named "Discover the new flippancy of Gnome and Ubuntu".

From this viewpoint Ubuntu is the most boring distribution I know of, such a lot endless discussions about "colorful icons" and "wallpapers" and similar eye-candy is unique in the OSS world.

Good luck to Ubuntu 10.04.

Good luck to Ubuntu 10.04. I'm gonna install it about 4-5 weeks after release day. Hardy Heron was my first Linux-distro after Red Hat 5.1 try in early 2000. Hardy worked fine especially after august 2008 updates. That's the reason why i gotta feeling Lucid might have some annoying bugs in first stage but coming better and better later. No need to hurry.

Besides i wanna test it well before installing it to many computers of my frieds and relatives. Important thing will be mobile-netconnections. Karmic had real problems with some mobilenetwork, so i don't wanna face these with Lucid Lynx.

Commercial might mean 'Mainstream'

It has long been a goal of gnu/linux to make it a mainstream system and philosophy.
Tweaking/improving Ubuntu's 'user-friendly' credentials is in my opinion in keeping with the goal of taking gnu/linux mainstream.
In the mainstream people expect to be able to buy music and film straight from their applications. Online stores are now the norm.
Ubuntu One charging for storage will probably lose out to Google's free online storage - but its worth an effort - It might just just be worth paying the $10, just to reduce the amount of data Google has access to.
Ubuntu/Canonical could though take a lesson from google and not charge for storage, but instead encourage people to upload and share as much as their information with them as they can handle - social profiling and patterning is after all a key weapon/tool in Google's money making enterprise - a quid pro quo - something for something.

Keep up the good work Ubuntu.
Your hot on the heels of MS and Apple Inc.

Eagerly awaited?

Is it really so "eagerly awaited"? Why? I can see a couple reasons to load it but this is the first release I've not been eagerly awaiting.

I'm not critical of it mind you, I just don't think it is the most eagerly awaited release. I'd like to see the evidence, but mostly I think I must be missing something so I'd like to hear why.

I know what you mean...

I know what you mean man, my 80186 wont' even boot at all, much less in 10 seconds! I don't know what these people are talking about??

Maybe you should try it again on a machine that isn't older than dirt. Yes, a 5400 RPM HD, a crap single core processor that is less than 2Ghz, and bottom barrel ram isn't going to load anything quickly.

@ 20 Years in busines

This just one of the many reviews available. If you want to get real impression of what is 10.04 about then you should do your own "research" after all it sound that you might be a real Guru. But for the info it's not only optics what is new there. For example 10.04 uses DeviceKit instead of HAL Upstart instead of SysV-init, Plymouth for graphical boot up and many more. So after all it's not so much boring, isn't it?

p.s.: sorry for my English


I'm looking forward of this new release of my favorite system

a little bit closer to a MS product upgrade

@ @Mel

What difference should it make if it's a single core or a quad core? Other than the difference tight programming vs sloppy programming can make. Heck, my old C64 had a great boot up time.

This is the problem with the enter industry as I see it. It is like programming and computer industry is in partnership to build software requiring hardware upgrades to run. AND people fall for it. Businesses lead the way in that department, frequent hardware and software upgrades, for appearances sake and tax write offs.

Nothing has changes in years except the bulk.

Just a speaker....

I don't use 'chat' programs...(I like security more than those things....why I don't use windows)...

I use volume control...

I use the assitive technologies on screen typing pad...

I use Thunderbird and have absolutely no liking or use for Evolution...

1) I don't want the 'chat' crap... but have to to keep them to use the volume control? (dumb) - sorry... not dumb... REALLY STUPID... how can you display just the control? (Also really stupid, no instruction correct this problem, or to have the 'old look and feel' back...)

2) You can not, easily display the typing pad program. (The program is 'onboard.') If you start it with the system... It screws up about 10 things I have found... If you don't start it with the system... you have to start it in terminal... STUPID...

3) I have never liked that you can not get Evolution out of the system... (try uninstalling... Eventually you will crash or wonder what happened. This problem seems worse in 10.04 than in previous editions). Also, I find it strange there are no disclaimers saying 'we have totally strangled the system with Evolution, by taking Microsoft's IE attitude and integrating it into the OS in a way that removing it will screw a bunch of settings that should have absolutely nothing to do with email... you will only find this out, if you do it, and we don't warn you.)

The repositioning of the "close,minimize,maximize:" I tolerated, thought the idea was less than close to an ideal one, and moved once I got the method.

My preference (In Firefox) is to have Tiny Menu, and would really rather see the total waste of space for that bar, combined with the menu bar, and then put tho "close,minimize,maximize:" buttons at the end of that bar, thereby giving more real estate back with fewer people saying unkind things about the ones steering Ubuntu.

For the most part, I don't mind Ubuntu. I really don't ind 10.04 (other than the 'really stupid' things mentioned.

Since they have listend to some, and told other where to go to shove on others... There will be a dichotomy... and this OS need harmony

There seems to be some

There seems to be some change to 'gnome-appearance-properties' program (run that command to see the program I am referring to); when I select the 'Clearlooks' theme, the layout of the window title bar buttons changes automatically! (without having to open gconf-editor). However, if you choose a theme, and then click 'customize', and choose a different 'Window Boarder' (metacity theme), the button layout does not change automatically.

The performance of the xserver-xorg-video-intel graphics driver has improved significantly in ubuntu 10.04. Now the compiz desktop cube moves much smoother than it did in 9.10. It is now also possible to run wobbly windows and other animations with a transparent cube (transparent when not rotating), and a video playing on the other side of the cube, without serious lag.

I haven't installed ccsm yet, but I can't find the '3d' or 'cubeaddon' plug-ins in gconf-editor (these are the '3d windows' and 'cube reflection and deformation' plug-ins). If they do not show up in ccsm, they can probably be installed separately.

Nice performance boost...

...shame about the poor rip-off Mac theme. Seriously, for a distribution that's supposed to be easier for Linux new comers, moving the windows buttons to the left just seems like a bad attempt at being different and "out there". Lame.

Wine Stain is Better than Turd Brown

Anyway, you can make it look just like Win7. But the OOBE is still "Meh." Who comes up with these colors and actually think they look GOOD?

complete system

I reckon that the only really complete desktop system has to be Opensuse!!

@20 years in business

are you a blind user?


How do I install google-earth, it`s nigh impossible?

Re: google-earth

Thanks a bunch, that helps a lot.
GoogleEarth and Picaso and Opera, are the only interests to me. The rest of Ubuntu 10.04 is great, I have downloaded most fo the stuff I need, like scientific analysis programs,and games for the lads.
One thing though have you had trouble with Cairo Dock?, I find that I have to load it every time I log in from switch-on.



Light? You must be kidding.

I have a laptop with a 1.5 GHz Pentium M and 512 GB of RAM which was able to run Ubuntu a couple of years ago. Now, if you like Ubuntu, the closer thing you can use on this machine is Lubuntu...

big fonts

still hounding ubuntu are the humongous big fonts of a fresh install. why can't they be smaller, thus appropriate in size just like their Windows cousin?

you can show me more

Basically you are talking about apperance and some other stuff... but really is not the important, cause the most part of all these thing comes from gnome development

In the other hand are commercial things from Canonical like ubuntu one ... store etc...

i disagree with this point of view, but if we talk about visuals... 10.04 LTS is NOT just Ubuntu

what about KDE, LXDE, XFCE

is just a suggestion =)

see ya

Works perfected on my 3 laptops and 2 servers

It works perfectly on D620, D630 and Samsung N148 (samsung-tools required).

I've also got 2 Ubuntu servers hosting personal wiki (confluence) and dokuwiki, since 8.04 LTS, do-release-upgrade did a good job;-)

I start ditching all other distros except Arch Linux on D620 (it's a better testing, build environment than Ubuntu). Ubuntu is good enough for work and day to day computing;-)


I've now upgrade to Lucid on 2 desktops, 1 laptop, and 1 netbook. The upgrades weren't without issues: apart from the netbook, the 3 other machines have nvidia chips with nicely customised xorg.conf files - but the upgrade process decided to switch to the noveau (nv) drivers and wipe out my xorg.conf file in the process; then the compiz settings got ignored; plus a lot of software which I use on regularly got removed(!).

I certainly haven't seen a 10 s boot time yet - there are too many udev SYSFS and ureadahead warnings for that. And once I've logged in everything seems far more sluggish than before (9.04).

And what's worse, the switch user applet seems to hard lock my X display (with X running away at 100% CPU usage) once I've switched back to the original user.

All in all, this has not been the best of Ubuntu updates to date - I think that happened back with 6.10...


i bought samsung n 148 for ubuntu as my friend was running it very smoothly on this.. and it was too much stylish too with small size and great battery backup.........
after installing ubuntu o found that all that workewd fine in windows is of no use on ubuntu. none of my special function keys are working...gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..........
even i cannot adjust the screen brightness due to which i have lost my battery backup by 50% ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Wery interesring Linux is

Wery interesring Linux is

How to install Windows

How to install Windows '.exe' applications on Ubuntu

How to install yahoo

How to install yahoo messenger with full features voice chat, vedio chat, etc.. in Ubuntu platform

how to install yahoo??

please let us know how to install yahoo with all audio and video features???

and i also wanna install a (pc to phone calling software) SIPLINK software (windows software) to ubuntu..

yahoo messenger

Dear malikka,

No need to install Yahoo messenger, just follow these steps
System -- > Preferences --> Massaging and VOIP account -- > Add --> Protocol --> yahoo Username or password.


Looks are Everything

pperance and some other stuff... but really is not the important,

Damn sure is, if you want to be "mainstream" like all you geeks want.

this sucked

tried this os for 2 hours. it sucked. for an os that is being promoted as "social from the start," it completely made me lose track of my networks. and whats with the chat only feature? this has been a problem since its inception. a new version should have addressed this. empathy does not empathize. a very poor third from windows and mac. and oh the support is incoherent and everywhere.

upgrade possible?

is it possible upgrade ubuntu 8.06 to 10.04?
how can i do that?

display resolution keep's bugging me

the maximum resolution i can use is 1024x768... hell...


I wish they can include more maths tools on ubuntu iso, like matlab, latex and even java

java is there

just install ubuntu restricted extras from synaptics

Ubuntu / Debian

Interesting to see how many different opinions on Ubuntu 10.04.
Mainly, I'm using Debian, but Ubuntu has some advantages:
-big repository that contains plenty of programs and packages
- really new versions of programs.

Ubuntu 10.04 is really fast, stable, getting even more user friendly, and more easy to configure than previous releases.
So, people there are making an awesome jobs, and it is kind a strange for me looking some irrelevant negative points here.
If someone doesn't like some feature or programs, it can be configured. This is beauty of Linux, organize your Desktop or Server on the way you like.
BTW, Ubuntu Server 10.04 is also great, fast and stable.


i'm newbie in linux and i use ubuntu 10.04 LTS, i want to ask how to change emoticons in messanging, because not all emoticons display well here.. or maybe shortcut?? btw, i use yahoo.. thanks before and sorry with my engglish..

Ubuntu 10.04 and firefox browser

How do I get my firefox browser back on my desktop? And, I tried to update my ubuntu from 3.63, but it wouldn't update all the way. I just want to remove firefox completely and reinstall the 3.63. How do I do this? Please advise asap. Thank you, Dianne

The major casualty in this

The major casualty in this of course is Gimp, which although still a fixture on almost all the other major distributions has now been dropped so that you get a lean, light machine. So without further ado

Nice Blog

The major casualty in this of course is Gimp, which although still a fixture on almost all the other major distributions has now been dropped so that you get a lean, light machine.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Username:   Password: